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Sweet and Sour Sauce

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Sweet and sour sauce is a Chinese take-out staple! A popular condiment, it’s vibrant red, clear, gel-like and glossy. This homemade version is restaurant-quality and incredibly tasty. Make it in 8 minutes!

Enjoy this dipping sauce with cream cheese wontons, crab rangoon, chicken meatballs, pan-fried cocktail sausages, chicken wings or chicken tenders.

Use it as a glaze for your favorite chicken and pork recipes that call for Chinese sweet and sour sauce. It’s also a delicious glaze for pork chops and holiday ham!

PIN THIS SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE RECIPE FOR LATER!

Chinese sweet and sour sauce served in a clear glass bowl alongside crispy wonton strips.

SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE INGREDIENTS

Made with common pantry ingredients, this easy recipe comes together quickly! You’ll be amazed at how good it tastes!

Here’s what you’ll need to assemble this delicious Chinese condiment:

  • Granulated sugar
  • Corn starch
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Rice vinegar
  • Shaoxing wine
  • Soy sauce
  • Red food coloring

MORE EASY RECIPES

If you love Chinese sweet and sour sauce, you’ll enjoy these recipes too!

Ingredients for Chinese sweet and sour sauce recipe laid out on a maple Boos Board.

HOW TO MAKE SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE

This is a simple recipe you’ll want to make again and again! The entire process takes about 8 minutes.

Here’s how to make the best Chinese sweet and sour sauce, step by step:

  • STEP 1: Add sugar, corn starch and salt to a small pot. Whisk to combine and remove lumps.
  • STEP 2: Add water, rice vinegar, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, and red food coloring to the pot. 
  • STEP 3: Whisk until the mixture is smooth.
  • STEP 4: Place pot over medium heat. Continuously whisk until mixture comes to a boil. The sauce should be thick, smooth and clear. Remove from heat. If the desired consistency has not yet been reached, continue to stir the mixture in the hot pan after the heat has been turned off. If the thickened sauce is boiled for too long, it will break (lose its ability to emulsify) and become thin! Immediately transfer sweet and sour sauce to a small bowl.
4-image collage showing how to make sweet and sour sauce, step by step.

EXPERT TIPS FOR THIS RECIPE

Are you missing an ingredient for this recipe? Before running to the market, check your pantry for some easy ingredient swaps!

  • BEST SUBSTITUTE FOR GRANULATED SUGAR: An equal amount of light brown sugar.
  • BEST SWAPS FOR CORN STARCH: Arrowroot, potato starch or tapioca starch. Do not use flour for this recipe.
  • BEST SUBSTITUTES FOR RICE VINEGAR: White vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
  • BEST SUBSTITUTE FOR SHAOXING WINE: Pale dry sherry, or cooking sake (Japanese rice wine).
  • BEST SUBSTITUTE FOR SOY SAUCE: Worcestershire sauce.
  • HOW LONG WILL SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE LAST? When refrigerated in an airtight jar, flavor quality can last for 2-3 weeks. When cold the texture will become thicker, like Jello. Thin it back out again by gently whisking with a bit of Shaoxing wine, rice vinegar or water. Sweet and Sour Sauce in a small clear-glass bowl with a tiny gold spoon.

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HOMEMADE SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE > RATE THIS RECIPE! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My family says this homemade recipe is better than the packets of sweet and sour sauce that come with Chinese take-out! If you agree, give this recipe a 5-star rating in the comments below!

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com
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Chinese sweet and sour sauce served in a clear glass bowl alongside crispy wonton strips.

Sweet and Sour Sauce


  • Author: Denay DeGuzman
  • Prep Time: 3 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 Minutes
  • Total Time: 8 Minutes
  • Yield: 16 Servings 1x

Description

This Chinese sweet and sour sauce recipe takes only 8 minutes to make! Enjoy this delicious Asian condiment as a dipping sauce or glaze. It’s a family favorite!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 3 drops red food coloring

Instructions

  1. Add sugar, corn starch and salt to a small pot. Whisk to combine and remove lumps. Add water, rice vinegar, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, and red food coloring to the pot. Whisk until the mixture is smooth.
  2. Place pot over medium heat. Continuously whisk until mixture comes to a boil. The sauce should be thick, smooth and clear. Remove from heat. If the desired consistency has not yet been reached, continue to stir the mixture in the hot pan after the heat has been turned off. If the thickened sauce is boiled for too long, it will break (lose its ability to emulsify) and become thin!
  3. Immediately transfer sweet and sour sauce from the hot pot to a small bowl.

Notes

EXPERT TIPS: Are you missing an ingredient for Sweet and Sour Sauce? Before running to the market, check your pantry for some easy ingredient swaps!

  • BEST SUBSTITUTE FOR GRANULATED SUGAR: An equal amount of light brown sugar.
  • BEST SWAPS FOR CORN STARCH: Arrowroot, potato starch or tapioca starch. Do not use flour for this recipe.
  • BEST SUBSTITUTES FOR RICE VINEGAR: White vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
  • BEST SUBSTITUTE FOR SHAOXING WINE: Pale dry sherry, or cooking sake (Japanese rice wine).
  • BEST SUBSTITUTE FOR SOY SAUCE: Worcestershire sauce.
  • HOW LONG WILL SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE LAST? When refrigerated in an airtight jar, flavor quality can last for 2-3 weeks. When cold the texture will become thicker, like Jello. Thin it back out again by gently whisking with a bit of Shaoxing wine, rice vinegar or water.
  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Chinese, Asian

Keywords: Sweet and Sour Sauce, Sweet & Sour

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE > JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Are you craving Chinese take-out? Would this homemade condiment bring you joy? Share your thoughts on this sweet and sour sauce recipe!

7 thoughts on “Sweet and Sour Sauce”

  1. I had no idea sweet and sour sauce was so easy to make! This was perfect with our crispy pork. Great recipe!

    Reply
  2. I’ve been trying not to order takeout, so this recipe is perfect! Thanks so much for sharing it!

    Reply
  3. In all honesty I judge a Chinese food restaurant based on their sweet and sour sauce. This looks perfect to me. I cannot wait to make this for my family.

    Reply

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